Revamp on cards for historic gardens in Norwich

One of the two Mile Cross Gardens at the junction of Aylsham Road and Suckling Avenue. Picture: DENI

One of the two Mile Cross Gardens at the junction of Aylsham Road and Suckling Avenue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

New life is to be breathed into the historic gardens at Mile Cross, thanks to a project which has put the local community at the heart of an £88,000 revamp.

Mile Cross Gardens, which opened in 1929, was the city's first civic gardens planned on a council housing estate.

The intention of the gardens was for two areas of public open space, one the mirror image of the other, which would form the centrepiece of the eastern entrance to the estate, with a pavilion at either end.

The gardens, which belong to Norwich City Council have suffered from neglect and vandalism over the years, but £88,000 is available to improve them thanks to contributions from developers.

And the city council has joined forces with the group which organises the Mile Cross Festival each year to help make improvements.

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Emma Penfold, community enabling officer at Norwich City Council, said: 'What's nice about this is that we have used this as an opportunity to try a new way of working.

'In the past, we have tended to have a development team which draws up plans and then asks the community what they think.

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'But with this one, we looked to play a bigger role with the local community group.

'They have been running some events and talking to residents about how they use the gardens, what is important to them and what changes they would like to see which would mean they would use the gardens more.'

That has led to plans being drawn up and further consultation, with work earmarked for summer or autumn.

There is not enough money to renovate the pavilions.

But the council is keen to support groups which would be interested in taking that task on and in applying for grants to make it possible.

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